How Do You Determine the Value of an Antique Secretary’s Desk?

Secretary desks, sometimes referred to as secretaries, were introduced in the late 1700s with survival antique desks mostly from the 1850s and beyond can be worth four or five figures, depending on age and condition. Values can fetch up to five figures for a high-quality antique desk that features an attached bookcase.

The value of antique furniture varies greatly and depends on a number of factors including the piece’s origin, manufacturer, condition and age. There are many online appraisal services available, such as, and They offer antique and collectibles valuations for either a one-time fee or with a paid membership to the service.

Reference books such as “Kovels’ Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide 2014” provide the recent prices for antiques that have sold in the last year through auctions, shops, shows and online, which is another way to evaluate an item’s value. The Kovels price guide and other antique pricing reference books are available at local bookstores and online.

The best way for a true valuation of an antique items is through the use of a qualified appraiser. A professional appraiser will provide a value in writing along with the criteria used to arrive at the item’s worth. A professional appraiser may charge up to $400 per hour, depending on their qualifications and location.